Monday, January 23, 2012

Letter Tip #1: Using Book/Movie Quotes - Period Drama Advice Event

Here is the first tip for writing responding letters for The Period Drama Advice Event. Keep an eye out for more tips!

Does your character say either in the book or adaptation something that they may say to the asking character? Maybe if you're writing as Dorcas Lane from Lark Rise to Candleford, you might say "Love rarely crosses the great divide of social class" (I will have other examples below). Direct quotes can really help you take a good guess to see what the character's position on a particular matter may be. They also can really make your letter sound like they're coming from the character you're writing as.

Some quotes you might use:
"Love rarely crosses the great divide of social class" - Dorcas Lane (Lark Rise to Candleford)
"Pray, what is your age?" - Lady Catherine de Bough (Pride and Prejudice, 1995)
"So put that in your pipe and smoke it!" - Lady Violet Crawley (Downton Abbey)
"Well, I doubt I'd expect to curtsy to their majesties in June when I'd been arrested at a riot in May. But then I'm old. Things may be different now." - Lady Violet Crawley (Downton Abbey)
"What will people think of her? And worse: what will be said?" - Deborah Jenkyns (Cranford)

You may come across a quote that would go perfectly with the subject of the letter, but it doesn't quite fit into the flow of the letter (such as grammar or even nouns). You can change enough of the quote so the reader may understand what the original quote was and cleverly apply it to the current subject. For instance, let's use a Mrs. Bennet quote. The direct quote in Pride and Prejudice is:

"...if you take it into your head to go on refusing every offer of marriage in this way, you will never get a husband at all..." (Chapter 20)

That quote might be fine for a letter concerning marriage, but what about a business deal? Let's say that Mr. Bingley is writing an asking letter about whether to take possession of Netherfield Park? (Yes, I am aware that Mrs. Bennet and Mr. Bingley are both from the same novel and that that would not be allowed, but this is just an example) What exactly could we change in the quote to fit our topic?

If you take it into your head to go on debating whether or not to take possession of Netherfield in this way, you will never get a wife...erm home at all.

See how we used a quote and fit it into the current topic? It just took a little bit of revising.

How helpful was this tip? If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment. I'll try my best to help out.

 God Bless,
 God Bless, Miss Elizabeth Bennet

1 comment:

  1. This was a very interesting tip! I enjoy using quotes when writing as a certain character but often try to change the quote slightly so that it still sounds in character but isn't the exact quote.
    Love the quotes you used in this post, especially Lady Violet, she's so quotable! :)


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